Cigarettes designed to “addict women”

fag_ends.jpgA review of tobacco industry documents show research on psychological and behavioural needs in women was used to target cigarette advertising and ingredients, to increase smoking and reduce quitting rates.

The recently released review (PDF), published in the journal Addiction notes that:

A 1976 British-American Tobacco Company (BAT) review of gender differences (drawing on both internal and published studies) concluded that women were more motivated to smoke, smoked more for insecurity reasons and exhibited more neurotic traits.

The author further observed that higher neuroticism among women may intensify responses to smoking-related health pressures, and that female smokers found quitting more difficult and reported fewer successful cessation attempts.

In response, cigarette advertising and ingredients were altered to make them even more difficult to give up, and more attractive for new smokers.

Link to summary from Science Blog
PDF of full-text paper Designing cigarettes for women.
PDF of Addiction editorial Exploitation by design

One Comment

  1. Posted June 7, 2005 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    How far have we come, baby?

    Back in the 1970’s, British tobacco companies used research on women’s neuroses to get women to start smoking and discourage them from quitting. This research was later discovered and used to great advantage by Nabisco’s Snackwells and Sigma Nu. (Image…


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